Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday ordered immediate formation of a corporation for the all-round development of the politically influential Veerashaiva-Lingayat community in the state.
Yediyurappa himself coming from this community has ordered the formation of Karnataka Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation (KVLDC) with immediate effect.
Significantly, a day earlier, some ministers and BJP MLAs led by Deputy Chief Minister LaxmanSavadi met Yediyurappa and requested for the formation of the corporation.
The Chief Minister in his order said, “The state has a huge population of Veerashaiva-Lingayats, of which there are people who are economically, socially and educationally backward.”
“Since there is a need to set Karnataka Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation for the all-round development of this community, it is ordered to immediately set up this corporation,” the order further read. Significantly, Yediyurappa has recently announced the establishment of Karnataka Maratha Development Authority.
However, opinion is divided among common people regarding this caste based board. People also believe that this decision has been made for political benefit. Some people are welcoming this decision and some are pointing out the flaws in it. Those who count the flaws argue that the gap between castes in the society will widen further. Senior Congress leader MB Patil has called this decision of CM a political stunt. He says that it is not going to benefit the public.
It is worth mentioning that there is already a Brahmin and Arya Vaishya Board Development Corporation in Karnataka. These corporations are created for the upper castes. Opponents of this decision believe that the exercise of creating a separate board for the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community will also reach among other castes in the future.
It is also to be noted that State Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is scheduled to go to Delhi on Wednesday, a few days after he hinted at expansion or reshuffle in the cabinet in Karnataka. It is expected that Yediyurappa will discuss this with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command during his visit. According to his possible itinerary released by the Chief Minister’s Office, Yediyurappa will leave for New Delhi in a special flight on November 18 at 11:30 am and arrive there at 2:30 pm.
The itinerary reveals that he Chief Minister would meet several Union ministers before returning by a special aircraft at 8:30 pm. Although there is no further mention of any meeting in the Chief Minister’s official itinerary, but according to official sources, he is likely to meet the central leadership of the party, including BJP national president JP Nadda, to discuss cabinet expansion or reshuffle.
Political activity in the ruling party has intensified since Yediyurappa indicated cabinet expansion or reshuffle following the party’s victory in the two assembly seats in the state. Indicating the reshuffle, the Chief Minister had said that he would soon go to New Delhi and seek approval after discussing it with the central leadership of the party. The cabinet expansion or reshuffle will be difficult for Yediyurappa as it has many aspirants. The Karnataka cabinet has 27 ministers, including the chief minister, and seven vacancies. Yediyurappa had indicated that the next change in the cabinet would not be limited only to the expansion but also a major reshuffle of the ministers’ portfolios.